Cost of living has been increasing at a rate over the course of 2022. As of July, inflation had reached 9.2% up from 2.4% at the same month in 2021 and is set to reach 10% before the end of the year.

Young people experiencing homelessness are disproportionately affected by the cost of living crisis. Already on low-incomes, many young people may be having to make difficult choices about what they have to go without.

To help tackle the crisis, the government announced more support to help people manage the cost of living. There are many different support schemes available and this can be overwhelming and confusing. Here is a list of what support is available and when to expect it:

Help with energy bills

All households will get £400 of support with their energy bills in 2022. This will be made as a grant, and will not need to be paid back. The discount will be applied automatically by energy suppliers. There is no need to apply.

Help for low-income households

£650 will be paid in two instalments to households getting one of the following benefits:

  • Universal Credit; or
  • Pension Credit; or
  • Income-based Jobseekers Allowance (JSA); or
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA); or
  • Income Support; or
  • Working Tax Credit; or
  • Child Tax Credit

This will be paid automatically in the same way benefits are paid. This will be a single payment of £650, even if the person receives more than one of the benefits listed above.

Help for people with disabilities

Around six-million people across the UK, who are entitled to one or more of the following disability benefits, will receive a one-off payment of £150 from September:

  • Disability Living Allowance
  •  Personal Independence Payment
  •  Attendance Allowance
  • Scottish Disability Benefits
  • Armed Forces Independence Payment
  • Constant Attendance Allowance
  • War Pension Mobility Supplement

For many recipients of disability benefit this £150 will come on top of the £650 they will receive separately as part of the help for low-income households.

Help with food and household goods

Citizen’s Advice Bureau can provide referrals to a food bank for people on low-incomes. Find out how to get help from a food bank.
There are additional ways to get help with food and household items.

Too Good to Go offer cheap left-over food from local stores and restaurants. Some food is given away for free. Olio is a way to give and get free stuff, including food. Borrow and lend household items in the community.

Healthy Start card can help with buying certain types of milk, infant formula, fruit and vegetables for families or women who are pregnant.

Healthy Start card recipients must be least 10 weeks pregnant or have a child under 4 years old. And receiving one of the following:

  •  Universal Credit – but only if a household earns £408 a month or less
  •  Income Support
  •  Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  •  Income-related Employment and Support Allowance – but only for those who are pregnant
  •  Child Tax Credit – but only if a household earns £16,190 a year or less

To apply for the Healthy Start scheme go to the NHS website.

Help from local councils

Councils have been given extra money to run discretionary funding schemes. This means councils have a lot of flexibility about how they decide to use the money. There may be an option to get help with household costs and travel. Find a local council.

Help with Travel costs

Jobcentre Plus Travel Discount Card offers 50% off travel for people on Universal Credit. Find out more on the National Rail website.

 

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